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YUTORAH IN PRINT • A PROJECT OF YESHIVA UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE JEWISH FUTURE
Kedoshim 5774
Download thousands of audio shiurim and articles at www.yutorah.org 
The Marcos and Adina Katz
YUTORAH
IN
 PRINT
Kedoshim 5774
 When Prohibitions Collide
Rabbi Shmuel Goldin
 wo senences afer he orahs mandae o Linei iveir lo iein michshol (which includes he prohibiion o misleading anoher, even hrough he passive wihholding o vial inormaion; [almud Bavli Moed Kaan 5a] see previous sudy), he ex delineaes an equally powerul, ar-reaching direcive:
 Lo elech rachil b’amecha
 , “Do no ravel as a gossipmonger among your people.”From his commandmen and oher sources in he orah he rabbis ideniy hree levels o prohibied inerpersonal speech as alling under he general prohibiion o rechilu (gossip).1. Mozi shem ra, slander: Te mos severe orm o prohibied inerpersonal speech: he inenional spreading o damaging unruhs abou anoher individual.2. Lashon hara, evil speech: Te spreading o damaging inormaion abou anoher individual, even i he inormaion is rue.3. Rechilu, gossip: Te sharing o any personal inormaion abou anoher individual ouside o ha individual’s presence, i here is he slighes chance ha he inormaion shared will resul in he creaion o ill will.Rabbinic lieraure is replee wih reerences concerning he ragic effecs o unetered speech (see azria-Mezora 3, Approaches D, E). Te prevalence o his phenomenon (we are almos all guily o he ransgressions o prohibied speech) combines wih he errible damage ha can be  wrough upon he lives o ohers o make he ongoing effec o hese sins paricularly devasaing. Wha should our posure be, however, when he prohibiion agains rechilu conflics wih he prohibiion o linei iveir; when inormaion is requesed o us, he sharing o which migh be damaging o one individual  while he wihholding o which migh be damaging o anoher? Wha i, or example, I am requesed o give a job reerence concerning an acquainance and he inormaion o which I am privy will be harmul o he candidae? Wha i I am asked by a riend concerning a budding romanic relaionship and, again, he inormaion ha I would share  would be less han flatering?Te responses o halacha o hese commonly occurring dilemmas are complex and vary on a case–by-case basis, as he law sruggles o reconcile he conflicing demands o hese wo significan mizvo.Four commonsense rules, however, can be helpul as a guide in all cases.1. Explore he moivaions: Wha is he impeus behind our inen o share his inormaion? Are we moivaed in any way by jealousy or personal animus? Are we ully aware o he underlying orces ha drive us o speak?2. Sudy he acs: Are we cerain o he veraciy o inormaion ha we inend o share? Wha is he naure o our sources? oo ofen, damaging hearsay is repeaed as ac, wih devasaing consequences.3. Examine he relevance: Is he inormaion we plan o share relevan o he siuaion a hand? Are we limiing our response o he necessary inormaion or are we adding and embellishing beyond he essenial acs?4. Seek halachic counsel: Many o us end o reques halachic guidance only in areas o riual concern such as kashru and Shabba. Jewish law, however, is mean o serve as a guide in all arenas o lie, paricularly when i comes o our ehical and moral behavior.Seeking appropriae halachic counsel beore we speak abou ohers is a sensible, ofen necessary sep. Words, once spoken, can never be ully reraced.On he oher hand, he ailure o share warraned inormaion can cause irreparable damage o he unsuspecing. Te burden o our inended acion or
 
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YUTORAH IN PRINT • A PROJECT OF YESHIVA UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE JEWISH FUTURE
Kedoshim 5774
Download thousands of audio shiurim and articles at www.yutorah.org 
inacion should, hereore, weigh heavily upon us. Decisions should no be made in hase, bu only afer due deliberaion. Consulaion wih he proper halachic advisor can help gran perspecive, allowing he wide-ranging experience o Jewish law o inorm hose decisions.Grea cauion mus be exercised when he prohibiions o linei iveir and rechilu collide. Te welare o ohers hangs in he balance.
Normal Holiness
Rabbi Dovid Gotlieb
his week’s orah porion opens wih he seminal charge o live a lie o holiness: “Daber el kol adas Benei Yisroel,” speak o he enire assembly o he Children o Israel, “ve’amara alehem kedoshim i’hiyu,” and say o hem, you mus be holy, “ki kadosh ani Hashem Elokechem,” because I, Hashem your God, is holy (Vayikra 19:2). Te significance o his verse canno be oversaed as i ariculaes nohing less han he mission o he Jewish people, o be a goy kadosh, a holy people!  Accening his imporance, Rashi cies he Midrash (Sira 1:1) which iners rom he ac ha Moshe was insruced o “speak o he enire assembly” ha his command (and he subsequen pesukim) was said o a unified gahering o he enire naion. Te Midrash explains ha his naional audience was required, “mipnei she’rov guei orah eluyan bah,” because he majoriy o he orah’s essenial laws are conained in his secion. Te Chasam Soer (oras Moshe) goes even urher and suggess ha he command “daber el kol adas Benei  Yisroel” conveys no only how his parsha was augh bu, more imporanly, how i should be ulfilled.  When considering a lie o kedushah a person may  be emped o isolae him or hersel rom oher people. Tis ype o isolaion, which he Chasam Soer reers o as “hisbode’dus,” would seem o be he ideal way o achieve holiness. Afer all, i no one else is around hen i is easier o conrol he disracions and empaions which normally compromise he person’s pursui o kedushah. Moreover, someone who lived alone would be reed rom he responsibiliy o worrying abou he needs o ohers and insead could ocus solely on his or her own religious developmen. Despie he apparen benefis o isolaion he Chasam Soer emphaically rejecs his approach. Te ideal is no o run away o he deser or o he ores even i he moivaion o do so is or spiriual refinemen. Raher, he goal o lie is o achieve holiness wih “kol adas Benei  Yisroel,” in he conex o he communiy. Furhermore, he Chasam Soer mainains ha par o our responsibiliy – despie any risks ha his migh presen – is o inerac  wih oher people and “le’lamdam binah u’lehaskil be’oras Hashem,” o each ohers abou he beauy o orah and mizvos. Tese commens o he Chasam Soer complimen he amous eaching o Chazal ha recouns he conversaion ha ook place when Moshe iniially came up Har Sinai o receive he orah. Beore God could give he orah o Moshe he angels sared o complain and asked: “mah le’yalud ishah beineinu,” by wha righ is a human  being invading he celesial heavens? Tey coninued and quesioned he very legiimacy o giving he orah, somehing so holy o someone who is mere flesh and  blood. Te Ribbono Shel Olam urned o Moshe and insruced him o answer he angels. Moshe replied by noing ha he orah describes he exodus rom Egyp and, hereore, he asks he angels rheorically, “were you slaves in Egyp? Were you liberaed?” Furhermore, he orah commands ha we mus sop working and res on Shabbos; once again Moshe asks he angels i hey work during he week so ha hey need a command o res. Moshe gives a number o oher examples bu hey all make same criical poin: Te orah was mean or real people living real lives. Te orah is no or angels or or people rying o become angels; he angels are in he heavens, his world is or human beings. O course he one cach is ha we are expeced o sanciy our lives. “Kedoshim ihiyu” demands no ha we avoid normal human experiences bu ha we hallow hem. And “daber el kol adas Benei Yisroel” eaches us ha kedusha is mean o be achieved no in isolaion bu wihin he communiy and hrough normal human ineracions.
 
3
YUTORAH IN PRINT • A PROJECT OF YESHIVA UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE JEWISH FUTURE
Kedoshim 5774
Download thousands of audio shiurim and articles at www.yutorah.org 
No End
Rabbi Josh Hoffman
his week’s parsha, Kedoshim, begins wih God elling Moshe, “speak o he enire assembly o he Children o Israel and say o hem: ‘You shall be holy, or holy am I, God, your Lord.’ “(Vayikra 19:2). Rashi, ciing he midrash, noes ha rom he ac ha God old Moshe o address his remarks o he enire assembly o he people, we learn ha his parsha was said a a gahering o he enire assembly o Israel, because mos o he essenials o he orah depend upon i. We need o undersand wha he midrash means by saying ha mos o he essenials o he orah are included in his parsha, and why, because o his, i needed o be delivered beore he enire naion.Rabbi Gedalyohu Schorr, in his commenary Ohr Gedalyohu o parshas Kedoshim, cies he midrash as saying ha parshas Kedoshim is a resaemen, o he Decalogue - he Aseres Hadibros - known popularly as he en Commandmens. For example, in he Decalogue  we are old o our obligaion o honor our parens, and in parshas Kedoshim we are old o ear our parens. Te medieval commenaor Chizkuni demonsraes how each o he mizvos in he Decalogue is menioned in parshas Kedoshim. According o Rabbi Schorr, he midrash is no only a resaemen o he Decalogue, bu an expansion o he mizvos i conains. Jus as he mizvoh o earing one’s parens reveals ha our obligaion o our parens enails more han giving hem honor, as was saed in he Decalogue, so oo is his rue o all he oher mizvos which i includes. Rav Saadia Gaon, as cied by Rashi o parshas Mishpoim (Shemos 23:12), wries - reflecing a saemen o he rabbis in he Midrash Rabbah o parshas Naso - ha, in ac, all o he six hundred hireen mizvos o he orah are included in he Aseres Hadibros. Rabbi Schorr, however, goes urher and wries ha his kind o expansion o scope o he mizvos is characerisic no only o hose mizvos included in he Decalogue, bu, on a broader level, i is characerisic o all he mizvos o he orah. Tis is so, he wries, because he parsha  begins wih a charge o he people o be holy, as God is holy. Ramban explains he erm ‘holy’ as a need o add precauions in our observance o he mizvos, separaing ourselves even rom iems which, according o he sric leter o he law, are seemingly permited. In shor, we need o sanciy ourselves hrough ha which is, sricly speaking, permited. I is because he parsha begins wih his mizvoh, wries Rabbi Schorr, ha i goes on o resae he Aseres Hadibros, hus showing ha jus as he Aseres Hadibros expand ino oher mizvos, so mus we expand each individual mizvoh, in erms o our observance, in order o atain holiness.Te idea propounded by Rabbi Schorr, based on he Ramban, ha we need o expand he scope o all he mizvos, may reflec a response ha he Rambam sen o a suden, who wroe o him ha he did no undersand how he could recie, on Yom HaKippurim, he sandard rom o vidui, or ‘conession,’ since i includes many sins  which he knows or a ac ha he did no ransgress. Te Rambam answered his suden ha i he would ruly undersand wha our obligaion o God is, he would undersand ha he does, indeed, need o recie he ull ex o he vidui. Tis response o he Rambam reflecs, in urn, a sory old o Rav Saadia Gaon, who once visied a own, where he sayed overnigh a an inn. Te innkeeper, no knowing he ideniy o his gues, reaed him very roughly. Te nex day, here was an announcemen ha Rav Saadia Gaon was in own and would be delivering a orah lecure, or a shiur. Te innkeeper atended he shiur, and hereby discovered he rue ideniy o he man he had reaed so discoureously. Afer he shiur, he wen over o Rav Saadia Gaon and asked orgiveness, saying ha had he known he day beore wha he knows now, he would have aced much differenly. When Rav Saadia reurned o his home, he refleced on he words o he innkeeper, and began o cry. He realized ha his knowledge o orah and his relaionship wih God expands each day, and wih ha expansion o knowledge comes an awareness ha his previous service o God was no adequae, and, hereore, he needed o repen or i. Rav Saadia, in effec, was saying ha here is never any end o he level o growh we much srive or in our observance o he mizvos and our relaionship wih God.Based on he commens o Rabbi Schorr, he Rambam and Rav Saadia Gaon, we can now undersand he commen o he midrash cied by Rashi. Parshas Kedoshim conains wihin i mos o he essenials o he orah

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